Thanks to Joe Degnan for trading me this with whatever six pack I had purchased that night. Tasted with Joey Waldorf out of snifters. This was my second tasting of this beer, but I finally got an accurate rating.
Appearance: Black and color though some brown around the transparent edges. Accompanying, a creamy looking texture. Minimal head, though still maintaining a dark tanned ring that leaves a poor wet lacing.
Aroma: Deep mahogany chocolate smelling with a woodiness and smoked addition smell. Some charred malt and dark roasted malt. Some nuttiness as well as mild earthy flavors. A bit of spicing.
Taste: Starts nicely sweet but then finishes with a nicely burnt finish to carry on the aftertaste. Some mapled syrup to taste, as well as a roasted unmalted barley. The beer exhibits some vanilla spicing at the end accompanied by the noted finishing additions above. As the tasting continues, I also find some stale oak-like characters common to many stouts that try unique adjunct. If the hops are there, they blend extremely nicely with the bittersweet chocolate and coffee flavors thrusting a nice earth midtaste.
Mouthfeel: Smooth and ironically similar to the texture to the New Belgium 1554. On the lower carbonation side, but still has a good full body, though it could always be fuller. Still it is creamy and soft to the mouth.
Overall Impression: I've met a lot of people who weren't really a fan of this beer. I however think it is a great stout with a lot of complexity for those who seek it. The nutty undertones and the coffee chocolate flavors create a wonderful flavor sensation. Though it may be lighter than the heavy stouts, it boasts a reasonable 5.2% alcohol, which is difficult to get these days. With the recent barrel aged fad, people think stouts are supposed to all be imperial and strong. Not me, I like them this way.